Wem WERE crowned champions of the Shropshire County Cricket League Premier Division after they comfortably won their end-of-season shoot-out with Quatt on Saturday.

Sam Peate’s men had been trailing their rivals by two points but a superb bowling display by James Astley after Quatt chose to bat meant Wem were able to both restrict their visitors’ point scoring and claim the near maximum amount of points available.

Danny Cohen was first to strike for Wem as he bowled Ryan Whedon for a four-ball duck before James Astley ripped apart Quatt’s top order with some fantastic bowling as he had opener James Ralph caught for six.

Oliver Plank was then bowled for five as Quatt were reduced to 22-3 and that soon became 29-4 as Alex Biddle was stumped by Harry Chandler as James Astley claimed his third victim.

His fourth came without the score changing as he had Craig Harris for a six-ball duck and he completed his five-fer in brilliant style when he trapped Scott Furber, who had stuck around a for a belligerent 61 balls.

His spell of superb bowling was completed when Dan Plank was given straight out for lbw when on just two from four balls and James Astley finished with 6-24 from five overs.

Tom Astley joined the party when he hoovered up the tail, taking the last three wickets of skipper Craig Jones, Jonathan Edwards and Gareth Jones for just 10 runs between them as Quatt were bowled out for 54 in the 37th over.

He finished with figures of 3-5 from 3.4 overs while Danny Cohen grabbed 1-13 from 10 overs; Alex Ollenrenshaw the only bowler of the four used to go wicketless as he finished with figures of 0-9 from eight overs as Wem managed to take wickets at important times without conceding runs.

In reply, Quatt knew they needed an early breakthrough and they were rewarded as Chandler was caught behind by Biddle off the bowling of Jonathan Edwards for just one.

However, any hopes for the visitors that they could rip through the home top order in similar fashion to James Astley were soon dashed as Ollenrenshaw took the fight to Quatt.

He finished with a fine 30 from 29 balls, including four fours, and was eventually dismissed by Ralph, caught by Edwards.

Skipper Peate was there at the end to see Wem over the line for the eight-wicket victory and 24 points, finishing nine not out from 24 balls, ensuring the big-hitting Matthew Cohen was supported as he smashed 15 not from just seven balls, with two fours and a six as the hosts reached 58-2 in just the 11th over.

Wem finished 21 points ahead of Quatt as they achieved no more than what they deserved with the title.